Wrongful Death Lawsuits vs. Survival Actions in New Orleans

Both a wrongful death claim and a survival action can be filed after the death of a loved one. The need for financial recovery after a death caused by negligence or intent is very real for most families. So is the need for justice after a family member died unnecessarily. However, the family needs to know the basics of the lawsuits and actions they will be part of to recover compensation. Let’s take a detailed look at that.

Two Types of Claims the Family Can Make

There are two types of claims open to family members after their loved one dies – the wrongful death claim and the survival action. Although the claims can be filed at the same time, they are substantially different at their core. The wrongful death lawsuit compensates the family for the financial loss they experience due to the loved one’s demise. The survival action does not compensate the family but rather compensates the deceased’s estate for its monetary loss due to the accident. It is basically a personal injury claim filed by the estate for the decedent. 

Compassionate Legal Help – The Olinde Law Firm

The Olinde Law Firm attorneys provides compassionate service and legal help to families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity. We make every effort to make this as easy on a grieving family as possible. If you have lost a family member due to an accident or assault, call us at (800) 587-1889 to schedule a free case review. You can also contact us online.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the decedent’s estate against the negligent party or entity that was responsible for their loved one’s death. Many times, the family finds itself in a difficult financial situation, particularly if the decedent lent monetary support. A wrongful death claim can help ease the financial burden the family may be carrying. It can also give them a sense of justice for their loved one’s death.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The immediate survivors of a decedent can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes the:

  • Spouse of the decedent
  • The deceased’s children
  • Stepchildren of the decedent if they were supported more than 50 percent by the decedent
  • The parents and siblings of the decedent if all others in the line of succession are deceased or absent

Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

The following damages are available in a wrongful death claim:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of income, including current and future wages
  • Loss of benefits
  • Loss of savings and insurance 
  • Loss of household services provided by the decedent
  • Loss of love and guidance

Survival Action

This end-of-life entity is used to recover damages the decedent experienced prior to their death. It must be filed within one year from the time of the person’s demise. The outcome of a survival action does not compensate the family, but rather compensates the decedent for their loss. It is called a survivor action because it survives the person’s death. It is easier to think of it as the personal injury lawsuit the decedent would have filed had they lived. The time the person survives after injury before dying varies, however, even a short survival time can lead to a claim.

Damages in a Survival Claim

The following loss can be recovered in a survival action:

  • Medical costs: This includes all medical care from transportation to the hospital to aftercare.
  • Lost wages and benefits: These include current wages and future wages the decedent would have earned.
  • Punitive damages: These are used to punish the wrongdoer for their actions. The amount of damages is decided by the jury.
  • Property damage: Such damages can be considerable.

How an Attorney Can Help

Evidence of negligence or intent must be procured against the defendant. Your personal injury lawyer is able to do that along with their investigative team. The proof of damages must be able to show beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is at fault for the incident. When punitive damages are awarded, they must be clear and convincing. 

The Olinde Law Firm

Let the Olinde Law Firm help you when a family member dies due to negligence. Call us at (800) 587-1889 to schedule a free case review. You can also reach out to us online. Learn what your options are, and get your questions answered. Since we work on a contingency basis, you never have to pay us until your case is won.